A 14-year-old boy has died while riding a bull for the first time at a North Carolina rodeo.
It happened Saturday at the Rafter K Rodeo Winter Series at the American Legion Post 290 field in Gold, officials said.
Event organizers named the rider Denim Bradshaw in a Facebook post.
Paramedics were called to the scene after reports of a cardiac arrest. The teenager was taken to hospital where he later died.
His mother, Shannon Bowman, shared her heartbreak in a Facebook post.
“Last night was the longest night of my life!” she wrote.
“My handsome 14 year old son went to meet the lord! I’ve been waking up in a nightmare my whole life!”
She added that she had “never seen him as happy as he was last night before he left” – and praised his bravery and courage.
Amanda Paquette, whose son also attended the event, told local TV station WFMY News 2 that she saw the bull stomp on Denim’s chest after he fell.
Event organizers wrote on Facebook: “Everyone at Rafter K Rodeo Company, LLC would like to send our sincere condolences to the family and friends of bull rider Denim Bradshaw.
“Our sport is really one big family and we are so grateful to everyone who has been there to help.”
They added: “This is a tragic event and words cannot describe the pain of this loss.”
Denning’s sister wrote on a GoFundMe page she set up to help pay for the funeral that it was his first time riding a bull.
She wrote: “Denning ventured into the world of bull riding and fell in love. Boots, cowboy hat and those big belt buckles – he loved it all.
“He rode his first bull on January 28 and his excitement was palpable. None of us could believe that this first bull ride would lead to his death and we were devastated.
“Our lovely 14-year-old boy lost his life at the most emotional time of his short life and we have lost him now.”